March 2023 quality update: Crumbling edition

March 2023 quality update: Crumbling edition

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Dear happy campers,

Here goes another quality update. We will not settle until every gluten free loaf makes you a happy camper every single time!



The biggest remaining issue that keeps eluding us is: Crumbling 


If you experienced a crumbled loaf, you may be wondering: what happened? Did a baker have a tantrum and unleashed a rolling pin on my loaf…?


We wish it was that simple! We’re confident we’ll crack this tough nut, but we have to be honest: Due to its intermittent and difficult-to-test nature, it’ll take us a little bit more time. Until then, please know:


☝ From customer feedback, less than 1% of loaves have crumbling issues.

✌ If you get crumbly loaves, we will do our very best to make it right, by refunding your affected loaves!


Simply email us and if you can, please share the LOT code printed on the packaging (photo below). This helps us track it down to a specific batch.


The main reason why crumbling has been such a challenging issue is because it’s so intermittent. Based on customer feedback, less than 1% of our loaves end up falling apart pretty dramatically after they’re delivered. The remaining 99%+ do not.


Another challenging aspect is that there is no indication of crumbling during baking and packaging. It doesn’t occur until bread has gone through its journey and been delivered and stored at customers’ homes.


We’ve been troubleshooting this diligently for the past few months and consulted with the country’s foremost bread scientists. We made several key improvements that we’ve written about in our previous newsletters and blogs. These all helped, but some loaves are still affected. 


Very recently, in late February, we started using a brand new dough depositor designed specifically for gluten free dough. We’ve seen an immediate reduction in holes, so we believe this will further help with crumbling as well. Currently, we’re experimenting with different water temperatures. We’re also trying out different versions of our existing ingredients and are saving up for a new special type of mixer to improve our mixing consistency.


We also wanted to address a question that for us feels like a little bit of an elephant in the room, since our bakery move in June 2022: 

"Why the heck haven't Happy Campers figured out all quality issues already? Gluten free bread can't be that complicated..."

In truth, the answer to that question is simply that gluten free bread is.... really really really complicated! 🤯 At this point, we're down to the nitty-gritty science and physics of baking. We're exploring and cross-testing every interaction within our formula. We're geeking out to the point we never though we would on bread! 🤔🤓


We're definitely making progress in the right direction, but so many of the issues we're encountering are completely new, wildly complex and intermittent in nature. It seems nobody, even the country's foremost bread scientists whom we've been consulting with, have answers that would result in an immediate and straight-forward solution.


So, it's taking some time for us to learn, keep troubleshooting and keep improving little by little. After 12 years of running our company and baking gluten free bread, we honestly thought we knew just about everything about gluten free bread. But boy, were we wrong and humbled. We know we're getting very close and will persevere and come out on the other side with so much knowledge that our bread will be better and quality more consistent than ever!


Thank you so much for your patience and support through this arduous, yet meaningful and heartfelt healthy bread journey!
-- Lacy and Jan 💚💙💜